Comparing Rates of Undiagnosed Hypertension and Diabetes in Patients With and Without Substance Use Disorders

Zoe Lindenfeld, Kevin Chen, Supriya Kapur, Ji E. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have increased risk for developing chronic conditions, though few studies assess rates of diagnosis of these conditions among patients with SUDs. Objective: To compare rates of undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes among patients with and without an SUD. Design: Cross-sectional analysis using electronic health record (EHR) data from 58 primary care clinics at a large, urban, healthcare system in New York. Participants: Patients who had at least two primary care visits from 2019–2022 were included in our patient sample. Patients without an ICD-10 hypertension diagnosis or prescribed hypertension medications and with at least two blood pressure (BP) readings ≥ 140/90 mm were labeled ‘undiagnosed hypertension,’ and patients without a diabetes diagnosis or prescribed diabetes medications and with A1C/hemoglobin ≥ 6.5% were labeled ‘undiagnosed diabetes.’ Main Measures: We calculated the mean number of patients with and without an ICD-10 SUD diagnosis who were diagnosed and undiagnosed for each condition. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess the association between being undiagnosed for each condition, and having an SUD diagnosis, patient demographic characteristics, clinical characteristics (body mass index, Elixhauser comorbidity count, diagnosed HIV and psychosis), the percentage of visits without a BP screening, and the total number of visits during the time period. Key Results: The percentage of patients with undiagnosed hypertension (2.74%) and diabetes (22.98%) was higher amongst patients with SUD than patients without SUD. In multivariate models, controlling for other factors, patients with SUD had significantly higher odds of having undiagnosed hypertension (OR: 1.81; 95% CI: 1.48, 2.20) and undiagnosed diabetes (OR: 1.93; 1.72, 2.16). Being younger, female, and having an HIV diagnosis was also associated with significantly higher odds for being undiagnosed. Conclusions: We found significant disparities in rates of undiagnosed chronic diseases among patients with SUDs, compared with patients without SUDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • chronic disease
  • diabetes
  • health disparities
  • hypertension
  • primary care
  • substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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